I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. All I knew was that it was a historical fiction novel set in Regency London. I'm actually really glad I didn't know more, or my prejudices would have stopped me from reading it! See, I usually avoid stories about women with abusive husbands--especially if it's about how the husband passed away and the woman has to pick up the pieces. The reason I avoid these stories is because they're usually very sad and intense-- and I prefer lighter reading. This book is very light, and has extremely funny parts! I was laughing out loud many, many times!
Also, let me just say that this book was SO different from any book about a widow, or abused wife--than I have ever read! The main character, Letty (short for Lettuce) is a widow who married young and suffered greatly in her two years of marriage. The beginning of the book mentions the abuse, but doesn't go into detail. Because Letty herself doesn't wish anyone to know about the abuse, the narrative almost skims over it. She has more important things to think about, and refuses to feel sorry for herself....yet, she doesn't take up the opinion that she deserved the abuse, either. As the story progresses we get more details of it, but I was just so intrigued by Letty herself. I loved her personality. She takes care of her mother-in-law and she stands up for what she believes in. After her husband dies, she is left with his debts and has to sell her home--which she takes in stride.
Letty's whole demeanor was so completely endearing and refreshing to me, and I can't think of anyone who would not fall in love with this widow! The men in the book are so charming! I felt like I was reading a Jane Austen novel, and I loved every bit of it! Especially the ending! Oh, the ending had me in tears! Happy tears, of course, but I did she'd some sad tears too.
I recommend this book for fans of Jane Austen and Regency period novels. I loved reading about the balls and customs of London society. It's so romantic. Please don't be put off by the fact that there is a widow who had an abusive past! (Like I know I would have been had I read of it prior). It is unlike any novel I've read of a widow and I can't recommend this book enough!!